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Articles (2017), Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 37 (2), pp. 89-99

Generating Leads with Sequential Persuasion: Should Sales Influence Tactics Be Consistent or Complementary?

PÖYRY E., PARVINEN P., McFARLAND Richard

Firms are becoming increasingly systematic in sales lead generation activities and recognize that multiple interactions are often required to generate leads and to reassure buyers of the benefits of an offering. However, the literature is contradictory regarding what types of persuasive messages should be used across these multiple interactions. This paper investigates what combination of sales influence tactics (SITs) should be used when customers are approached more than once regarding the same offering, that is, sequentially. Should the SITs be consistent (the same), or complementary (different)? Consistent vs. complementary SIT approaches were tested in two field experiments, one with an electronics manufacturer in a single communication channel setting and one with a financial services provider in a cross-channel setting. The results supported our hypothesis and indicated that the use of complementary SITs across interactions, regardless of the order, increases lead conversion.

PÖYRY, E., PARVINEN, P. and MCFARLAND, R. (2017). Generating Leads with Sequential Persuasion: Should Sales Influence Tactics Be Consistent or Complementary? Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 37(2), pp. 89-99.